, Salem, MA

Local News

October 22, 2013

Upbringing spurred Cahill to public service


The description of him as a plugger and hard worker goes directly against the image of Cahill being portrayed by Slate.

Slate has accused Cahill of being “distracted and not engaged” in the two years they served together on the City Council. It’s the same charge that Scanlon, who is supporting Slate, leveled against Cahill two years ago.

Councilor Jim Latter, who also served on the council with Cahill and is backing him in the mayor’s race, chalks up the criticism of Cahill’s work ethic to campaign strategy.

“I think Wes thinks he can do a good job, and he’s moving forward with a campaign that gives him the best chance to win,” Latter said. “I don’t agree with the negative pieces he’s put out, but he’s a big boy, and he put his name at the bottom of it, so he has to stand with that.”

Latter said it is more telling that Cahill has the support of his current employer in his job as executive director of the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs. Among the people endorsing him in one of his campaign mailers is Jack Meany, executive director of the YMCA of the North Shore.

“If you look at the people who have had Mike’s full-time employment for the last several years, they’re overwhelmingly in support of Mike,” Latter said. “To me, that answers the question of Mike’s work ethic.”

‘Generational change’

After 10 years on Beacon Hill, Cahill decided to run for state treasurer in 2002. He finished last in the four-person Democratic primary, spending $75,000 of his own money, which is still carried as debt on his campaign finance report.

Cahill said that attempt at a state post “cured me of any desire to run for higher office.”

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